Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Springfield Krag Jørgensen Rifle

  • Manufacturer: Springfield Armory(under license by Krag Jørgensen)
  • Design: Norwegian
  • Weight: 8.6lb
  • Length: 49"
  • Barrel length: 30"
  • Cartridge Caliber: 30-40 Krag Smokeless
  • Capacity: 5 round internal box magazine
  • Service in US Army: 1892-1903
  • Service in US Volunteers: March 1899-1902
  • Service in Philippine Constabulary: 1906-1917

The US Army adopted the Krag rifle in 1892. Springfield would produce several different variants of the Krag from 1892 to 1899 at their plant in Massachusetts. An estimated 500,000 rifles were produced at Springfield Armory. Production ceased in 1904. The Krag would be the rifle credited for winning the Spanish American War, as well as the Philippine American War. It still remains synonymous to the Span-Am War era.

The Krag how ever was very short lived. It only saw two short wars and was already proven to be outclassed, out matched, and obsolete during the first war. The Spanish Mauser proved to be a better all around performer, as well as being a more robust war rifle than the Krag. Loading the Krag was also tedious, as it required loading one round at a time in to the box magazine, where as the Spanish Mauser took 5 round stripper clips that allowed for extremely fast reload. The Mauser was the superior rifle of the two wars, but the American soldiers outnumbered and out-gunned the Spanish and Filipino soldiers armed with Mausers. By 1901 Springfield had developed a new and improved battle rifle that incorporated features and characteristics of both the Spanish Mauser as well as the Krag. The US Army soon adopted Springfields new rifle and named it the M1903. The M1903 were quickly mass produced and outfitted to US Regulars. The Krags however would still find a niche in service. By 1906 the Krags would be re-issued to the Philippine Constabulary and other provincial police departments around the Philippines.

US Regulars firing Krag rifles at the outbreak in Manila, Feb 1899.

Famous Krag marching song of the Philippine-American War.
Damn the Filipinos

In that land of dopey dreams, happy peaceful Philippines
Where the bolo man is hiking night and day.
Where Tagalos steal and lie, where Americanos die,
You can hear the soldiers sing this evening lay..

Damn! Damn! Damn the Filipinos,
Cross eyed khaki-ak ladrones.
Underneath our starry flag, civilize 'em with a Krag,
And return us to our own beloved homes.

Underneath the nipa-thatch, where the scrawny chickens scratch,
Only place to rest when hiking all day long.
As I lay me down to sleep, slimy lizards o'er me creep,
In that land where soldiers sing this evening song..

Social graces there are few, all the ladies smoke and chew,
And the men do things the padres say are wrong.
But the padres cut no ice, as they dine on fish and rice,
In that land where soldiers sing this evening song.

1 comment:

  1. Love your site. You could add the two winchesters of 1895 also, the lever action and the lee straight pull.